Sky View Observatory


Initially purchased as a date night adventure with my husband, my tickets went unused & nearly disappeared into the dark abyss that is my purse, until my son found them and graciously offered to be my date.  Well, he’s four so it actually went more like this:

“Mama? Maaama? MoM! What are these!?”

“They are tickets. Now get out of my purse.”

“Tickets? For what? For an airplane? A boat? A dinosaur ride?”

“No, they are tickets to a big building. Now please stop dumping my purse out.”

Barely able to contain his excitement, London ecstatically shouted “I want to go with you!!! Let’s go right now!!!” while the final contents of my Mary Poppins sized purse scattered across the floor.


Though we didn’t leave that minute, I was swayed enough by his unbridled enthusiasm, which was the exact polar opposite of my husband’s reaction when I had first mentioned the tickets to him; to plan a day date with London that week.  Of course Grandma and baby Huck tagged along too and somehow we miraculously picked a day without rain.


Getting to the Sky View Observatory was not without its’ mishaps however.  Firstly, there was the usual two hour get-out-of-the-bloody-house departure, the oh-shit-I-forgot-I-needed-gas moment and then the requisite I-am-hungry chant coming from the back seat.  Once we finally did arrive, being the fugal being that I am & refusing to pay for parking when there is free street parking just 8 blocks away, we found a spot & began hoofing it downhill towards the observatory.


No sooner had we made it a block or two, when Huck and I turned to the commotion suddenly unfolding behind us, and we see both my mom and poor little London literally rolling down the steep sidewalk much to the horror of the street cleaner who was standing guiltily to the side with his broom clutched to his chest.  In an effort to avoid his extended broom handle, my mom swung to the right but the happily skipping London wasn’t so graceful and in a tangle of arms and legs, he took them both down. My mom had valiantly attempted to take the brunt of the fall herself, which she primarily succeeded in doing by bloodying up both her palms and one knee. After recovering from our sidewalk trauma and bravely brushing themselves off & carrying on, we finally made it to the Observatory with two of our party bruised & bloodied but ready to take in the view.


The Sky View Observatory is located in the Columbia Center in downtown Seattle & was completed in 1985.  At 902 feet tall, the observatory, located on the 73rd floor, is the tallest public viewing observatory in the Pacific Northwest.  It offers unparalleled 360° panoramic views of  Seattle itself, the Puget Sound and the outlying wilderness.  We could see the Olympics off in the hazy distance the day we went as well as the Cascades.

The Columbia Center has over 8,800 windows and 48 elevators and since it was built to withstand earthquakes and hurricane force winds, it claims to be one of the strongest & safest buildings ever built in the Pacific Northwest.  Looking out of the 73rd floor windows that day, I certainly hoped that this engineering claim was indeed true.  It’s a beautiful view for sure, full of picturesque photo moments and floor to ceiling windows; but those Seattle sidewalks sure are a long ways down.

Sky View Observatory

20160622_134637_HDR701 5th Ave 73rd Floor
Seattle, WA 98104



Adults $14.75

Kids 6-12 $9.00

Kids 5 and under FREE


  1. HA! I love it !! Your Fantastic writing has recaptured the thrilling moments of both tumbling down James street with London- and the heart racing view from the tippity top of the tower !

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